Pretoria blast 'due to gas being left on'

2011-02-04 14:29

Pretoria - Two women sustained severe burns in an explosion in a restaurant in central Pretoria on Friday morning, paramedics said.

"It is at this stage still unclear as to the exact nature and cause of the explosion, but the two women were opening up the fast food restaurant at the corners of Proes and Beatrix streets for business this morning, when all of a sudden there was a very loud explosion," ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said.

The women, aged 30 and 40, were treated for serious burns to their bodies and faces following the 6.40am blast.

"They were however in a stable condition. Alert, but in a severe amount of pain when they were transported to a local hospital."

Nobody else was inside at the time and nobody else injured.

Gas stove

Restaurant owner Ronnie Magolego said after visiting the two woman at Steve Biko Academic hospital that one was expected to be discharged later on Friday, while the other would be sent home on Saturday.

He said he had been told one of them switched on the gas stove, but then could not find the matches. She apparently forgot to switch off the gas as she searched for them.

"It was a silly thing. Thanks to God it was not more serious."

He expected to reopen for business in a few days. Most of the damage was to the ceiling and extractor fan.

- SAPA

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